I know this entry may be a little out of the “Black History Month” season, but why should I only celebrate the contributions of African Americans for 28 days out of the 365 that exist. I was brainstorming and was inspired to put this story/speech together. Enjoy 🙂
TO ALL, I am compelled today to speak about a story that moves me not only as a man, but as an African American Man. I have entitled this story “Going Back to Africa.” I was on a road trip traveling afar off when I had to stop in a very small country town along the way. Although it was highly advised that I didn’t stop in towns such as these as some housed “racist people” that may or may not discriminate against us. Personally, I was under the impression, “HMPH its 2011 what do you mean “racist” or “discriminate” those things are illegal and by GOD could not still exist in AMERICA today. I was about to be in for a rude awakening….
I remember stopping at what looked like the only crossway in the small town to gas up, and grab a bite to eat. After pumping the gas, I decided to go inside to see if the station restaurant was possibly open to get something to eat on since we have a long journey ahead of us. I walked in and a mid-50’s gentleman behind the counter greeted me saying, “May I help you…” I replied by saying, yes sir my family and I are looking for a place we can eat… He said, ”NOPE, we’re closed, no restaurants around here within 50 miles.” I immediately knew that I was somewhere where I was not wanted… I decided to avoid the confrontation with the gentleman and proceed back outside to find somewhere else to eat… As I get ready to exit the store the man yells out… “Yea, you NIGGER and while you’re at it GO BACK TO AFRICA, you USELESS piece of….” I immediately stopped him saying….
Go back to Africa? Go back to Africa? GO BACK TO AFRICA? What do you mean go back to Africa! Sir, I have no ties to Africa nor do I belong there…I was born in America and therefore I am an AMERICAN. NOW good day. He proceeded to continue scrutinize and patronize Blacks and our uselessness to America and society… You know by now I am beyond enraged. Immediately I thought about what it meant to be BLACK and PROUD! I reached deep down inside of myself and pulled out a rant unparalleled by any orator America has ever seen:
You know what sir, I WILL go back to Africa. You are completely right; the uselessness of “my people” is apparent and alive today. I even remember speaking awhile back about how blacks were only good for sagging pants, drugs, and low academic performance. But sir I that was over 4 years ago and I have a whole new perspective and things to show to you.
Mister, if I am going to go back to Africa I want you to help me pack. Would you mind? A little perplexed at my response, he said, well sure, I guess. It is a long trip and I will need a few things if I am going to go back to “where I came from.”
I invited him to ride around with me if he didn’t mind: We got in the car and drove off. Well sir, I exclaimed, One of the biggest problems of you telling me to go back to Africa is if I recall y’all were the ones that brought us here right? Yea it was you and your people that sailed up and down the west coast of the African continent from the 15th – 19th century raping our lands of men women and children that you could use as ‘free labor.’; Sticking us on leaky boats across the middle passage altering your books to make it look as if some of us didn’t even exist if we happened to die on the long journey across the Atlantic Ocean.
But that’s fine! If you want me to go back to Africa I will! But I am going to need some help… I pulled up to the Hospital and proudly said: Sir I need you to go into this hospital and all those around the world where anyone that has a pacemaker and take it from them, also any Siamese twins that have been separated put them all back together, and finally anyone that has had to have open-heart surgery go get them and let their fate be as it would have been. If it had not been for African Americans none of this would have been possible therefore, if I am going to go back to Africa I will, but I want you to help me pack.
We left the hospital and went to the man’s home. Sir, go inside and find some other way to heat and cool your home because that thermostat your A/C is connected to belongs to me, that refrigerator, fountain pens, ironing board, clothes dryer, curtain rod, door knobs, and door stoppers all belong to me just to name a few. Matter of fact is that your son? Go grab that Supersoaker water gun out of his hand too… I’m going to need that too. If it has not been for African Americans none of this would have been possible therefore, If I am going to go back to Africa I will, but I want you to help me pack.
We continued driving around this small town and surrounding areas I told him to bring me every pair of modern made shoes made by the African Ameican created shoemachine, every automatic gear shift car was to be transported back with me, every traffic signal, although this city only had two, had to come with me, every elevator, cell phone, fire extinguisher, spark plug, and even those typewriters that paved the way for the “QWERTY” keyboards you use today. If it had not been for African Americans none of this would have been possible therefore, if I am going to go back to Africa I will, but I want you to help me pack.
Hmmm, sir that bag is starting to get a little heavy isn’t it. Didn’t realize that you would have to collect all these things we’ve created since we’ve been here did you? In the meantime I’m going to take back our fried catfish, chitterlings, ham hocks, collard greens, sweet potato pie, and peach cobbler back with me… The very soul food that makes your mouth water and brings a family together, I’ll take back with me too… I’ll take back with me the 105 Historically Black Colleges and Universities back with me too. And ALL the men and women that impacted society that are products of them… from Prairie View A&M University to Howard University….from Bethune Cookman University to North Carolina A&T, from Texas Southern University to Tuskegee University…. Just to name a few all of these institutions must come back with me sir. If it had not been for African Americans none of this would have been possible therefore, if I am going to go back to Africa I will, but I want you to help me pack.
We hopped on a plane and flew to Washington, D.C. sir lastly I want to take back two secretaries of state, numerous state representatives senators, governors, and mayors; not to mention a President(two president’s if you count Clinton) and over 2.3 million Veterans that served in the branches of our military. With a bent over back the man seemed to be straining with the accomplishments that I had put upon him to pack for me.
You see sir without those the keyword in African Americans is ‘Americans’ and much of what yall have left of AmericA without AfriCANs is useless… So next time you EVER think about telling anyone of color to “go back to Africa” remember how much more of America we have afforded you because of our existence…Because of us exists the Amerca you have grown to know. NOW, If it had not been for African Americans none of America would have been possible therefore, do you REALLY think we should go back to African….DONT WORRY I’ll WAIT….